Despite starting brightly and having the better of the initial play Charlton conceded five first half tries to Dover and this proved to be an obstacle that they were unable to turn round despite a spirited second half revival.
From the start of the match Charlton’s scrummage was to cause them difficulties and allied to them conceding a number of penalties meant that they were unable to generate any real momentum and Dover took control of the game.
It was following an astute diagonal cross-field kick by Dover that saw them open the scoring with a try after their chase had beaten the covering defence. Charlton almost immediately had the opportunity to post their first points of the game but unfortunately for them the ball just shaved the wrong side of the goal posts.
Dover then extended their lead when following a period of well organised goal line defence from Charlton they were adjudged to have been held up over the goal line. From the ensuing five metre scrum Charlton were adjudged to have offended leading to the referee awarding Dover a penalty try.
From the restart Charlton’s chasing of the ball saw them create a n opportunity deep in the Dover half but despite the enterprise Charlton were unable to score any points as Dover’s defence proved to be equal to the challenge.
It was following good work at a scrum by Alan Knuckey when he intercepted a pass saw Charlton mount a multi-phase attack that saw Paddy Green going close to scoring a try. When Green was tackled just shy of the Dover goal line good phase play by mark Harlow-Singh and Sam McKinney, making a welcome return to Broad Walk, kept impetus in the move which was finally finished off by Tommy Nightingale scoring Charlton’s first try of the game.
Having posted their first points of the game Charlton did not help their cause when they were reduced to fourteen men when from the restart kick in their efforts to defend they offended once too often for the referee’s liking and he had no compunction in issuing a yellow card. Dover utilised their numerical advantage well when following them stripping Charlton of possession they ran the ball in for their fifth try of the half.
The second half saw a resurgence in Charlton’s play as they proceeded to try and reduce the deficit. It was Knuckey who was the catalyst for Charlton’s second try of the match when following the award of a penalty he took a quick tap and darted over to touch the ball down.
Green finally gained some recompense for him going close to scoring in the first half when following a period of pressure and a series of penalties given against Dover he accepted a flip pass out the tackle by Harlow-Singh and drove over for Charlton’s third try. With Alex Miller kicking two second half conversions Charlton had worked their way back into the game.
With Charlton going in search of a fourth try Reion Raybe made several telling runs but to Charlton’s cost their eagerness cost them dearly as Dover capitalised on errors to score a further two tries and a drop goal to put any idea of a Charlton win out of their grasp.